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TBTA Thanks MDNR for Black Mountain Grooming

Mon, Mar  6, 2006 - By Vince Call

Just a note on the Black Mountain  race. Members of the Thunder Bay Trails Association (TBTA) out of Alpena were very pleased with the race, the weather, the wax, and the grooming. The fact that the conditions in the previous years has been so questionable, the safety side of grooming out the downhills may have been a wise choice in case of extreme icing conditions. We have come to appreciate anything the Michigan Department of Natural Resources does for Nordic skiing on this side of the state! They totally abandoned the Alpena Nordic Trails, stating that all funding for Nordic skiing goes into the Black Mountain trails system, so...

I would suggest a note of a BIG thank you to the MDNR TEAM for grooming the system at all and to do so after hours! They are not required to be so accommodating to the NO PAY SKI CROWD, as we are known in the winter rec community. We will do our part to generate more participants next season with the hopes of great snow the month prior to and up to the race as we had this season!

TBTA is the local northeast Michigan non-motorized advocacy group based out of Alpena, hosting our ten year anniversary next season. We are the MDNR volunteer contractors for managing the nonmotorized trails in the Mackinaw State Forest in Alpena County at Norway Ridge Pathway and Chippewa Hills. We groom and maintain the Nordic system, and upkeep the trails for hiking, mountain biking, etc.

We also host an annual Mountain Bike Race and a Trail run. We had ten of our members in the event on Saturday, and hope to generate more interest next year pending the snow conditions for the tour of Black Mountain. Do to our hot and cold winters in the northeast part of Lower Northern we have not been able to muster any form of annual ski event and give Denny Paull credit for sticking with it. The sport on the part of the state needs to be reinvigorated since the demise of the Corsair Silver Creek Challenge many years ago due to the inconsistent winter weather we experience each winter. Rain for the entire month of January this year!

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